BY STEPHEN PETERSON SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Forget U2 or The Rolling Stones. If you want to see the spectacle of a rock show, take in a Kiss concert. Of pretty much any group in rock history, Kiss is one whose performances display the essence of the band.
Kiss, which took the stage Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena for the Kiss Alive/35 North American Tour named after the 35th anniversary of their big-selling Top 10 live album, has pretty much always been more than a rock band, with their makeup and costumes and concert extravagance.
As bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons, whose family is in the A&E TV reality show "Family Jewels," says, Kiss is a brand, with countless merchandise and an image that has transcended decades and generations. Many of the group's fans, in fact, brought their kids to the show, and of course, a few were decked out in the Kiss look.
"Sonic Boom," the band's first album of new material in 11 years, is scheduled to go on the shelves exclusively at Wal-Mart/Sam's Club stores Tuesday along with a new greatest hits CD and DVD.
The new album returns the solos Kiss has been known for, and some of the songs such as the anthem "Say Yeah" and "Modern Day Delilah" - the album's first song on the radio, retain the vintage Kiss sound.